Double Homicide Shocking Both Police and Des Moines Neighborhood Residents

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- It's a nightmare Ryan Smithman never thought he'd experience on his normally calm and quaint northwest Des Moines street.  "Four people shot two people dead, five houses away from where you live, it's frightening," said Smithman.  Police quickly shared the same emotion.  "It's definitely sad. We've already experienced this once this year, we certainly did not expect this to happen," said Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department.

Police responded to a shooting at a detached garage at 2702 51st street around 4 pm Wednesday.  It was there that they found two victims had already been shot dead and another suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg.  A blood trail led investigators to a fourth victim suffering from a gunshot wound to the leg five blocks away near the First Assembly of God church.  Parizek said, "This is gonna be an active scene for us well through night."

As of 9pm Wednesday, no suspects have been arrested but police believe the threat was limited to the original crime scene. "It looks like whatever happened here happened in this location. It was centralized here and the people here were the ones involved so I think we have everyone accounted for right now that may be involved at this moment," said Parizek.

It is certainly a moment that has the community nearby seeing life a bit differently.  "If it can happen five houses away from where you live and what you thought was a safe neighborhood, hopefully this was an isolated incident, I still believe this is a safe neighborhood but it absolutely can happen anywhere at any time," said Smithman.

Police have not released the names of any victims but have confirmed the two deaths are 28 and 21 year old men.  The injured are 31 and 26 year old men. All four are residents of Des Moines.  The two that are hospitalized are expected to survive. The investigation is ongoing.


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